At the Luannan seawall GFN meets the New Zealand Ambassador of China, the President of China Wildlife Conservation Association, and Hebei Province’s Deputy Director General

Report from Theunis Piersma, Luannan, Hebei, China, 5 May 2017

As the strong southerly wind turned to a veritable storm from the northwest, blowing over tripods and dusting the air, the delegation in company of the New Zealand Ambassador to China, Mr John McKinnon, arrived on the Luannan seawall. At a neap tide, some of the Red and Great Knots gracefully remained on the mudflats in front of the seawall to be watched by the Ambassador and representatives of the national, provincial and local governments.

DSCN0172.JPG
Chris Hassell, Adrian Riegen, and Ady Boyle

John McKinnon was accompanied by our close colleague and GFN associate Adrian Riegen of the Pukorokoro-Miranda Naturalists Trust in New Zealand, and by Chen Kelin of Wetlands International. In the presence of Mr Chen Fengxue, President of China Wildlife Conservation Association and former Vice Administrator of State Forestry Administration and Mr Wang Shaojun, Deputy Director General, Department of Forestry, Hebei Province, Theunis Piersma presented Mr McKinnon a copy of Marathon Migrants. Marathon Migrants is the photo-story of the global connections put into existence by our shared shorebirds, with a foreword by Mrs Maggie Barry, the Minister of Conservation of New Zealand.  It was a special moment to show the Ambassador the page with a hopeful final episode on the future of the Luannan foreshore illustrated with a photo made by Jan van de Kam at the same location more than 10 years ago.

A67Z0348
Mr Chen Fengxue, President of China Wildlife Conservation Association and former Vice Administrator of State Forestry Administration and the New Zealand Ambassador to China Mr John McKinnon, together with Theunis Piersma
A67Z0365
Theunis shows the Ambassador the page with a hopeful final episode on the future of the Luannan foreshore illustrated with a photo made by Jan van de Kam at the same location more than 10 years ago

Despite the fierce wind, it was a great opportunity to share some time with such a distinguished and politically powerful crowd showing so much interest in the shorebirds on the mudflats. We hope this bodes well for the future of the Luannan intertidal foreshore, the muds which are so crucially important as a critical refuelling area for the red knots connecting New Zealand and Australia with far northern Russia, and for many other shorebirds.

Further reading in Chinese:

  1. The New Zealand Embassy’s official wetchat account about the field trip written by the Ambassador, which can be found here.
  2. The press release on the website of the Forestry Department of Hebei Province, which can be found here.

(Photos by Adrian Boyle and Theunis Piersma)

A67Z0398
Theunis Piersma in conversation with the New Zealand Ambassador to China, Mr John McKinnon
A67Z0405
New Zealand Ambassador to China Mr John McKinnon is instructed by GFN’s Chris Hassell
A67Z0425
Spotting Red Knots and Great Knots!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s